Student Senate Report: 9/13

The Student Senate discussed the possibility of recognizing Columbus day as Indigenous People’s Day on campus. This bill, known as the Columbus Bill, was unanimously recognized as a necessity to promote equality. The vote for this bill will take place next meeting.

However, a discussion arose on the Senate floor prior to the vote. Concerns arose regarding the accurate representation of the student body. To ensure the students have a voice in this matter a poll was taken last year. Roughly 120 participated, but the results concluded that there was no majority. Unlike the poll, the Student Senate seemed to have a bipartisan agreement on this seemingly controversial topic. Next week will tell whether Student Senate takes into account the student poll or not.

The rest of the meeting followed along the themes of equality and inclusivity of the University of Rhode Island campus and community. It was also introduced at this meeting that pronouns are to be gender neutral in the Senate financial handbook. Regarding to a member of Student Senate as “chairperson” instead of “chairman” or “chairwoman.”

Inclusivity was introduced when talking about “adequate advertising.” This was meant to refer to clubs reaching out efficiently and receiving funding based on those merits. It is paramount to the Student Senate to ensure every club does enough to include as many students as possible.

Also included on the Senate floor were prospective dates for a TED talk, March 25th and April 8th. This TED Talk will be on mental health and will invite professors at URI to speak on this topic if any are interested. Like most events, students will have priority when purchasing tickets.

Crowdfunding must be used by every organization and affiliation on campus. This means the lump sum that is fundraised must be disbursed to the organization in the form of a check. There have been cases of money going through private bank accounts first, then all the earnings are not accounted for once in the organization’s hands.

The representative for the Campus Committee revealed that interviews for the new Director of Dining and Retail Services are now taking place over Skype.

A hurricane relief effort for the victims of Hurricane Irma can be expected to take place in the near future. As of now, the charity that will receive the donations has not been decided.

An election took place during this meeting to fill a spot on the Rules and Ethics committee. The election was between Senator Alquirtas and Senator Vu, who was not present at the meeting. Valuing confidentiality and willing to use his gut feeling to make tough decisions under stress, Alquirtas was ultimately elected by the Senate.